Alterations in Intestinal Innate Mucosal Immunity of Weaned Pigs During Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus Infection
In the small intestine, localized innate mucosal immunity is critical for intestinal homeostasis. Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) infection induces villus injury and impairs digestive function. Moreover, the infection might comprise localized innate mucosal immunity. This study investigated specific enterocyte subtypes and innate immune components of weaned pigs during PEDV infection. Four-week-old pigs were orally inoculated with PEDV IN19338 strain (n = 40) or sham-inoculated (n = 24). At day post inoculation (DPI) 2, 4, and 6, lysozyme expression in Paneth cells, cellular density of villous and Peyer’s patch microfold (M) cells, and the expression of polymeric immunoglobulin receptor (pIgR) were assessed in the jejunum and ileum by immunohistochemistry, and interleukin (IL)-1β and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α were measured in the jejunum by ELISA. PEDV infection led to a decrease in the ratios of villus height to crypt depth (VH–CD) in jejunum at DPI 2, 4, and 6 and in ileum at DPI 4. The number of villous M cells was reduced in jejunum at DPI 4 and 6 and in ileum at DPI 6, while the number of Peyer’s patch M cells in ileum increased at DPI 2 and then decreased at DPI 6. PEDV-infected pigs also had reduced lysozyme expression in ileal Paneth cells at DPI 2 and increased ileal pIgR expression at DPI 4. There were no significant changes in IL-1β and TNF-α expression in PEDV-infected pigs compared to controls. In conclusion, PEDV infection affected innate mucosal immunity of weaned pigs through alterations in Paneth cells, villous and Peyer’s patch M cells, and pIgR expression.